Made internationally famous as the inspiration for Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, the hilltop village of Rennes le Chateau’s history is likely to be always shrouded in mystery – the truth may just be stranger than the fiction! Either the priest Sauniere engineered a brilliant pr stunt to bring in mysteriously large sums of money which went to decorate the beautiful little church, the construction of the orangery and Magdalene tower or maybe he really did find a buried treasure and/or Jesus’ marriage certificate and bloodline. Either way, the village is beautiful, there is a great little restaurant right at the top where you can dine outside under shady trees and the 360 degree panoramic view alone make this a worthwhile visit. In one direction you can see the equally mysterious Bugarach mountain, itself rife with conspiracy-theories (more of the alien variety!) whose distinctive shape was formed, geologists believe, when a volcano blew its top and landed upside down on itself. In another direction you can look back and see where we are in Laval (the pyramid shaped hill in the middle of this photograph is the Pic de Bitrage and the Waystation gite is at its foot), behind it rise the Pyrenees.